Help with humidity?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by sonjab314, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. sonjab314

    sonjab314 Constant State of Confusion

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    I am new to incubating and just purchased a LG circulated air bator used for $25. It is a great shape and the temp is holing steady between 99-100. However my humidity is all over the place. This morning when I got up it was 29% and after I added a little bit of water it jumped up to 70%. I opened the ventilation holes trying to get the humidity down. How much water are you supposed to add at one time? I see some people using sponges. How does that work? Any information will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    Does your incubator have trays in the bottom for water?

    The thing about water is that it doesn't matter how deep the water is, as it's the surface area being evaporated. So 'how much' is a hard question to answer depending on how your incubator is supposed to humidify. If you have shallow dishes or water areas, they may be drying up too fast and then dropping the humidity, so you'll have to make sure they are consistently full. If they are deep but with little surface area, maybe it's not evaporating at an appropriate rate.

    I personally have a still-air incubator that seems to hold temp and humidity really well for me, but my problem is getting it UP to the right humidity. There is a plastic tray with shallow patterns in the bottom for water, but even with every last one of them filled my humidity tends to be around 35-40%. I ended up having to add a some soaked paper towels to the edges of the bator to increase humidity and close up 5 of the 7 air holes, and it sticks around 60% now. I have to open the incubator once daily to spray the duck eggs I have in the bator, so my air changes completely once a day, but the humidity snaps right back afterward because I spritz the paper towels too.

    The reason some people add sponges or wet towels to the inside is because they are able to provide a ton of surface area without actual pools of water- plus you can set them on the same level as the eggs so the rising water particles are not all underneath the eggs. Often sponges are how people humidify home-made incubators, because water dishes can't be left in with chicks and bowls of water are sort of awkward.

    I'm not sure how well circulated air bators are able to hold humidity, as I imagine they are pulling in air from the surroundings, which may or may not have much humidity. Your best bet is probably keeping it in a place that has a lot of control over temp, drafts, and air circulation.
     
  3. sonjab314

    sonjab314 Constant State of Confusion

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    It has the trays in the bottom under the screen for water but I usually add 1-2 tablespoons and that raises the humidity way high. I have the bator in the kitchen AWAY from the stove, dishwasher and fridge. It is tucked away on the counter that is away from windows and all drafts. I just cant figure out why it goes from being so low to so high. Hopefully I can figure this out????
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

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    Well then the other question is- is your hygrometer accurate? If it's very old or second hand, there's a possibility that it just isn't working like it should. You could also be placing it somewhere in the incubator that is overly sensitive to changes in humidity. The one I use is a cheapie one from Petco that I used to use for my reptile tanks, and it seems to be fairly reliable.

    Perhaps try moving whatever you are using to a different part of the incubator or getting a different meter.

    And keep in mind that the little styrofoam incubators are good for small spaces, but they are hard to keep stable on both humidity and temp. It may simply be a matter of fiddling around with various methods before you find the one that works for you. If pools of water in the bottom are not working, get a sponge and cut it into smaller strips and try adding a wet strip to the incubator to see how well that works. It's great to set up the incubator and get it working before putting eggs in, but if you've got eggs in already the experimentation may be rough on them, so you'll have to be more careful.
     
  5. Vanessabuffsnsilkies

    Vanessabuffsnsilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those holes make the humidity go up. Leave them open while your incubating that should be fine. I lay the caps over half the hole during lockdown to help the humidity stay up. Is your hygrometer calibrated?
     
  6. sonjab314

    sonjab314 Constant State of Confusion

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    I just purchased it from Wal-Mart. I purchased 3 and checked every one of them against two different oral thermometers. The two cheaper ones were way off and they went back. The more expensive one was accurate with the temps so I kept it.
     

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